Product Marketing Managers have a big job… but they don’t always have a big budget.
PMM is a unique role that requires knowledge of product, marketing, messaging, branding, content creation, sales, and so much more. It’s one of those jobs that combines soft and hard skills. It takes patience. Even the best product marketers can feel overwhelmed and under-resourced.
But it’s also one of the most rewarding jobs. There’s nothing quite like seeing the content you created turn visitors into happy lifetime customers.
Product marketing touches many aspects of a business so it can take quite a few tools to do the job. With so much software in the mix you might find yourself battling “tool fatigue.” And if your team is prioritizing efficiency you might be asking yourself – Do I have the budget for a tool? Or is my boss eventually going to tell me to get rid of it?
So wether you’re a newbie settling into the role or a seasoned vet taking a close look at your spending, here’s a list of our favorite products for PMMs on a tight budget across 3 categories:
1. Canva – Design
Visual content is the bedrock of any great product marketing program. Cranking out product sheets, screenshots, guides and visuals can be a pain, especially if you don’t have an in-house designer. That’s where Canva can really help PMMs.
It’s an excellent graphic design tool that you can use for everything from social media posts to data sheets and technical PDFs. The free plan comes with thousands of templates and the Pro plan is a bargain at $10 per month.
2. Camtasia – Video Editing
Product videos are some of the best performing assets. They’re also some of the most difficult to create. Camtasia turns the time-consuming, arduous task of video editing into a much more accessible experience. You don’t need video editing skills to get good at it; the interface is great for beginners.
If you’re making product walkthroughs, screen recordings, or voice-over explanations, Camtasia will get you going. At $299/user it’s more pricey than the other PMM tools on this list, but at least you’re getting a perpetual license.
3. Jasper.ai – AI-Generated Copy
Need to create some copy quickly? Jasper is leading the pack of copy generation tools. From blog posts to product documents, Jasper has plenty of writing styles and formats to choose from. You can even set your tone of voice.
AI tools blew up in 2022 with the rise of ChatGPT, and the potentially huge time savings they offer for product marketers has become apparent. We don’t recommend using these tools for copy that’s overly technical or mission-critical; you’re probably better off having a human write that. That said, Jasper.ai is a great way to kickstart your process and get you over that writer’s block.
Jasper is priced based on how much copy you generate. The $49 per month plan will get you 50,000 words which is plenty for most overworked PMMs.
4. Upwork – Human-Generated Copy
Don’t trust a machine to write for you? Try a human being! Jokes aside, our fellow humans can still help us achieve product marketing nirvana even when we’re on a tight budget.
Upwork is a great resource for finding freelancers, especially when it comes to copywriting and editing. A PMM’s job requires tons of writing, but not everyone is great at it. Whether you need a technical writer to help you craft the perfect data sheet or you just need a second pair of eyes on that blog post, Upwork is a great place to find your partner in copy.
5. Webflow – Web Design
Do you want to build a powerful website without paying an agency many thousands of dollars? Hop on Webflow and choose a template from their massive library. The company has taken the web CMS arena by storm and many developers in the industry are recommending Webflow for its flexibility and efficiency. The UI can feel a bit overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be cranking out product pages in no time.
The free plan gets you up and running quickly; the paid plan starts at just $14 per month. Since you’ll want a custom domain, it probably makes sense to go with the paid plan out the gate.
6. Hubspot – Email Marketing
You made some great content you need to push to an audience. Time to send some emails.
Hubspot is still a gold standard when it comes to email marketing. The interface is surprisingly easy to use, even with so much available functionality. Product marketers don’t always interact with this layer of the stack, but it’s practically unavoidable if you’re an army-of-one. The reporting is excellent and can help you get a good idea of which content is performing well.
We debated putting Hubspot on this list because the pricing is…complicated, to say the least. Chances are you’ll be spending $250 per month on the Pro plan. The free tools are good to get you started, but most users quickly hit a ceiling. You’re billed on a contact volume basis, so costs can get pretty high pretty fast. But that could also mean that your business is doing well enough that you can afford it.
7. Asana – Project Management
There’s a reason the title is Product Marketing Manager. You’re going to be doing some project management. It’s unavoidable. So we recommend getting a good project management tool in place early.
Asana is a simple, no BS project management system. The UI is clean. Setup is easy. Pricing is straightforward. There are so many project management tools out there that at this point that choosing one is really just a matter of preference. However, we chose Asana because its simplicity allows for a very relaxed experience, even with the most overwhelming project needs.
You can get by on the free plan for a while. Premium takes you to $13.49 per month, with a good discount if you pay annually.
8. Hootsuite – Social Automation
Social media is unavoidable if you’re pushing out product content. It’s one of the most engaging channels; where good product demos can perform exceptionally well and drive tons of interested visitors into your funnel. But posting to multiple social networks regularly can get tiresome quickly.
Hootsuite is a tried and tested tool for social media management. It’s free. It’s automated. You can generate reports. If you want to worry less about the what/when/how of social media, it’s a great choice.
The Pro plan starts at $99 per month, which still feels like a bargain for the level of convenience you get out of an automation tool like this.
Analysis & Measurement
9. Google Analytics – Traffic Analytics Tool
Love it or hate it, this thing will tell you where your traffic is coming from, what’s performing well, and so much more.
We’re not going to debate the accuracy of Google Analytics, how terrible the UI is, or the many valid complaints about the way it tracks essentially every aspect of our digital existence.
Why? Because it costs $0 per user.
10. 1up.ai – Competitive Intelligence
Every product marketer
wants needs to know what their competition is up to. They are monitoring messaging, product strategy, company news, and much more. Gathering competitive intel manually can be really difficult, especially when you have multiple competitors.
As if that’s not hard enough, try getting your sales team to actually use this knowledge. That’s where 1up comes in.
1up.ai automates competitive intelligence, saving you time by monitoring your landscape and ensuring the intel is always distributed to you and your team in a way that’s easy to understand.
11. Crazy Egg – Heatmaps
Heatmap tools are often overlooked by product marketers. Unless you’re creating landing pages and website content, you typically don’t use these. But we’re here to tell you that incorporating screen tracking into your workflow can be a super power.
Imagine finding out that the dominant visual on a webpage is the product screenshot you made, or a particular headline that got audiences to convert instantly. That information is like gold, and there is no better way of discovering it than with a heatmap tool.
Crazy Egg is a great way to get started. For $29 per month you can get a wealth of information about what people are most interested in. If you want to go deeper, the product offers a screen recording tool that will show you how users scroll your website. It is kind of creepy…but aren’t all user analytics?
12. Ahrefs – Search Engine Optimization
Every great product marketing program should incorporate Search Engine Optimization tactics. Many disagree on what “the best” SEO tool is, citing things like depth of SERP accuracy and link tracking. We don’t think that matters for most product marketers. What is important to a PMM is knowing how well content performs on Google and what keywords to optimize for in the future.
Ahrefs really does offer a simple UI and accessible pricing. The Lite plan runs $99 per month and will get you most of the information you need to know about SEO.